Docs

TIFF ’19 Exclusive clip: Heather Young’s “Murmur”

We are approaching the start of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival – running Sept. 5 to 15 – which will be home to many world premieres, including that of ...
August 29, 2019

We are approaching the start of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival – running Sept. 5 to 15 – which will be home to many world premieres, including that of Heather Young’s feature-length debutĀ Murmur. But ahead of the screening, Realscreen presents an exclusive clip of the 84-minute film.

The documentary-narrative hybrid film, which screens as part of the Discovery category, captures the “contemplative” story of Donna who, grappling with alcohol dependence and loneliness, turns to connecting with a variety of domestic animals in an animal rescue shelter to ease her pain following a DUI charge.

Over time, Donna forms a particular bond with a senior dog that she homes to prevent being euthanized, opening the door for additional rescues from the shelter and from online sellers until her small apartment is over-run with animals.

The documentary hybrid stars Shan MacDonald (pictured) as Donna, as well as a roving cast of Nova Scotian non-professional actors.

“It is important to me to tell the stories of older women and allow them to be complex, flawed and fully realized characters, the likes of which are rarely depicted in cinema,” said Nova Scotian filmmaker Heather Young, in a statement. “Donna is a difficult character, but hopefully one that will resonate. Her loneliness and addictive nature cause her to act in ways that are at times counter-intuitive and destructive but ultimately she is looking for connection – and that is something that we can all relate to.”

MurmurĀ was produced by Martha Cooley. It was funded with the support of Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund and Arts Nova Scotia.

  • Murmur holds its world premiere at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Jackman Hall on Friday, Sept. 6 at 8:45 p.m. ET.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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